02/21/2011 09:01 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NYPD Helicopter Rescues Two Stranded West Point Cadets

HIGHLAND FALLS, N.Y. -- In a daring nighttime run, amid conditions that left no room for error, a New York City police helicopter hoisted two shivering West Point cadets early Sunday morning off an 18-inch-wide ledge on Storm King Mountain, where they had been stranded for more than eight hours.

The helicopter's pilot, Officer Steven Browning, said in a telephone interview on Sunday that he had never faced such difficult flying conditions in his 14 years with the Police Department, with powerful winds blasting in two directions and with his rotors clearing the cliff face by just 20 feet.